Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fence or no fence?

The regular Madison Park Community Council meeting on Monday evening will include a discussion of the proposal to remove the fence at the "Swingset Park" (aka "the Dog Park," aka "Madison Park Beach-North").  The Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation has invited itself to the meeting for the purpose of discussing the idea and getting community input.

The Council's president, Gail Irving, is already on record as opposed to the idea, at least without other changes being made to the park as well.  Some condo owners in neighboring buildings have also expressed opposition in emails to this blog.

Tomorrow's meeting provides the opportunity for Madison Parkers to weight in on this contentious issue.  The Community Council meets at the Madison Park Beach Bathhouse (1900 43rd Avenue E.), beginning at 7 pm.


  1. I have lived in Madison Park for over forty years and when we moved into our house, three blocks from the beach, we knew that Madison Park Beach existed and that there would be issues regarding parking during the weekends. So be it. There is the advantage of living close to a public beach because one can walk to it within minutes but there are also disadvantages such as not being able to park near your own home after you come home from work or empty beer bottles being left on your parking strip or loud music coming from cars as they cruise the neighborhood looking for a parking spot or drunks standing on the corner kissing in front of a mother as she navigates her stroller past the lovebirds. OK, I get it and I can handle it but I and the people who live closer than I do to North Madison Park did not sign on for the impact of TWO public beaches in one neighborhood within three blocks of each other!

    This project is so ill-conceived and poorly thought out that one wonders why it is even seeing the light of day and why a public hearing needs to be scheduled. You know why? It’s because the Seattle Parks Department doesn’t have enough with which to keep themselves busy (besides not having any money) and hopefully all this exercise will ever produce will be a lot of paper and work hours for beaurocrats who are casting about for something to do. Maybe they should spend their time taking some spelling classes to get the name of their park board meeting room correct.
    The idea of taking down the fence, removing the rocks and the “invasive species” (a fancy phrase for blackberry bushes), bringing in enough fill to raise the level of the lake (in case nobody knows there is a big drop off within feet of the rocks) and haul sand or build a bulkhead to provide access to the beach (code words for a public beach) is the city’s idea of sticking it to Madison Park because of the perception that our neighborhood is somehow elitist and that more city dwellers should have increased access to its charms.

    And what does “increased access” really mean? Don’t believe for one minute that the removal of the fence, rocks and blackberry bushes is just so more of Seattle’s citizens can stare at the water without a cyclone fence blocking their view. If the Parks Department wants to move forward on this project it will be for an enormous “make work” project that will include a public beach. Aren’t we sick of our government’s projects already with the sewer project in Washington Park and just wait until they try to block off the Arboretum for traffic to the freeway and the University of Washington! You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

    Finally, please don’t call this imaginary place Madison Park North Beach. The definition of a beach is: a sandy or gravelly part of the shore of a lake or an ocean. The real place is called North Madison Park. The definition of a park is: a tract of ground kept as a game preserve or recreation area. Our park fulfills this definition as residents walk and parents cavort with their kids as they play on the grass and swing on the swings. This is the way we like it; a quiet, idyllic refuge in a bustling city, which is what parks were meant to be, just ask the Olmstead brothers.

  2. Ms. Madison - Tear down this Fence!

    If Parks doesn't tear down that wall I will. We are going to schedule a wrecking crew to come down there. If the fence still exists we are gonna get started busting things up and who knows where it will end. The March will start at 23rd and Massachusetts and pick up hammers, pick axes and torches. We are coming from the south. I suggest you set out a cooler of beer to show support.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.